Education and Training Required to Become a Successful Event Planner

For those who are already organized, detail-oriented and full of ideas, event planning can be an incredibly exciting career option. Every day event planners organize weddings, corporate events, important meetings, concerts, benefits and more. Before they can get started on this career path, though, individuals should learn exactly what they need to run a successful business , meet budgets, solve logistical nightmares and pull off the events of their clientsí dreams.

Associateís Degrees

Technically, event planners are not required to hold a specific degree or level of education. However, having some education in the field of event planning can be incredibly useful when it comes to organizing the many details of a given event. Several schools offer continuing education programs and Associateís degrees in event planning. These courses will teach students how to best manage the event, giving them valuable tools that will help them to keep track of everything involved in most major events. Associateís degrees take about two years to complete and can cost students upwards of $5,000 a year. There are lower-cost programs at many local community colleges, and scholarships may be also beavailable.

Undergraduate Education

Most employers prefer at least a Bachelorís degree in one of several fields. The degree does not have to be in event planning, specifically. Most event planners have either a general liberal arts background or a degree in marketing or business. A degree in public relations, communications or hospitality management will also be of great use. Anything that shows students can manage the complex demands of an event and work well with others will be helpful. Students should then take on as many extracurricular activities as they can, maximizing their experience with large and well-attended events. Most Bachelorís degrees cost between $5,000 and $25,000 per year and can take four years or more to finish.

Hands-On Experiences

The most valuable event planning education will come through hands-on experiences. Students should look into internship programs through their college, allowing the student to learn from experience professionals on the job. If such opportunities are not available, students can take on entry-level work with an event planning organization. Working as an assistant with hotels, conference centers, or wedding planners can give individuals a chance to develop a portfolio of their work, which will be helpful in gaining future clients.

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Certification Programs

Finally, event planners can also seek additional certification. Some states will actually require a license or certification before event planners can work on their own with the public. In other states, certification is completely voluntary. However, by earning certification as an event planner, individuals signal to their clients a higher level of professionalism and a commitment to their jobs. The Convention Industry Council offers a Certified Meeting Professional certification, while the Society of Society of Government Meeting Professionalís offers a certificate for Government Meeting Professionals.

With the right training and experience, event planners can build incredibly lucrative and dynamic careers. The job requires a great deal of hard work to pull of successfully, though, so those looking for an easy career with glamour and excitement would do best to look elsewhere.

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